Author's Chapter Notes:

Started life as a drabble and then grew feet. Enjoy Mary x

Brother Of Mine

Dean watched as his brother came out the school gates, eyes casting round nervously before he spotted him and a smile broke out on his face. It was a smile that Dean returned until he saw that his younger brother was limping. He drew his lips into a tight line and bit back the remark that was wanting out. "So squirt, how was it today?"

Sam eyed him suspiciously. "Fine."

"Uh-huh. What happened to your leg?" It was a light comment and if you didn't know how fiercely the elder Winchester protected his brother, it would sound almost conversational. Sam however could hear the barely contain anger that was boiling inside Dean. Still, he chose to ignore it. "Nothing. I fell."

"You fell?" Dean's eyes flashed. "Care to tell me who was there when you fell?"

"Nobody." Sam hitched his bag higher on his shoulder and tried to stop favouring his sore leg.

"Sammy?"

"Dean?"

His brother grabbed his collar and spun him round. "Tell me the little prick's name or I swear to God, I'm just gonna start working my way through your class until I find him."

"It's my fight, stay out of it!" Sam pulled away from his brother, lengthened his stride in spite of the pain it cause him.

"Sam!" Dean caught him up. "If it's your fight then why don't you damn well fight!"

"Because I'm not you Dean! I can sort this without the need to pound someone's face into the dust. It's called reasoning, you should try it sometimes. Now leave me the hell alone!"

He stomped off at that, glad that the only thing following him was Dean's string of curses.

---

"Let me see your side." Dean was standing now in the middle of the motel room floor, arms crossed and an unreadable expression on his face.

"Drop it will you." Sam looked up briefly and then back down to the homework that he was trying to concentrate on.

"Let me see you side or I'm gonna call Dad and tell him he needs to get his ass back here."

Sam raised angry eyes to his brother. "You wouldn't."

"Try me." Dean never even blinked before Sam had to look away.

"I hate you," he said standing and loosing off the tops of his jeans. Sighing he pulled down the side, knowing that the storm was about to be given life.

"Sonuvabitch. Is that a boot mark?!" Dean was over, hauling at his jeans now, his hands trembling with rage as he check the bruising over. Without saying a word he let Sam go and marched over to the little fridge in the room, pulling out an ice pack from the freezer compartment and wrapping it in a towel. "Here put that on it, twenty minutes." Sam hissed as his brother pressed the coldness to his side none too gently. "I want a name. It'll really go better if you tell who it is rather than making me hunt him down."

"No." Sam dropped himself awkwardly back into the chair.

"Fine." Dean grabbed his jacket.

"Where are you going?" Panic filled Sam at the blank look in his brother's eyes when he turned, the anger now masked by a cool, calm and even more deadly exterior.

"Out. Twenty minutes remember and get your homework finished." The door slammed behind him.

"Dean!" Sam called out to his brother, wincing as he tried to stand and hurry after him. He got to the door as the car roared into life. "DEAN!"

With a flurry of smoke and stones the Impala tore out the lot and onto the highway.

"Oh shit." Sam was suddenly aware that he was standing in the doorway with his fly opened and his jeans pulled down. "Oh shit." He jumped back in, slammed the door shut and slid down the back of it. "Son of a bitch," he said to no one in particular.

---

Dean was up and making breakfast when Sam came through in the morning. His seventeen year old brother was juggling making coffee, toast, and an omelette all at the same time. Sam stepped in to rescue the toast from death by grill and set about buttering it as Dean poured the coffee and split the omelette onto two plates.

There was an uncomfortable silence as they organised themselves at the table. Sliding a coffee over to Sam, Dean shovelled in a mouthful of his food and then decided to talk. "How's the leg?"

Sam made a face as Dean caught the bits of his breakfast that were intent on escaping and the younger boy sighed, ready for another fight. "It's fine. I did the ice pack ever hour for twenty minutes, seems to have helped a little."

Mmm." Dean downed a mouthful of his coffee. "I can't get you from school today, I've got an interview at the garage on the edge of town. Dad called, he's gonna be late back so I need to find work or we won't be eating and we'll be sleeping in the car again. That ok?"

"Sure." Sam looked at Dean with curiosity. "So you are just gonna let me walk home on my own after yesterday?" Suspicion filled his tone.

Dean shrugged at him. "I ain't got a choice Sam. That was the only time that the guy could interview me," he stood and lifted his jacket and car keys, swallowing down the last of his coffee as he did. "Besides you told me that you could fight your own battles, didn't you?"

"Yeah. Ok. I'll get you back here." Sam slid gingerly off the chair and gathered his stuff.

"Don't forget you key. I'm going out to start the car."

With that his brother was gone and Sam was left staring at the door, worry starting to seep in of what the day would bring.

---

School had been a disaster. Troy, the guy that had singled out Sam as his own personal punch bag had cornered him with three of his friends just before school finished and the younger Winchester was now sporting a rather healthy black eye to match the fresh bruising on his side. He thanked every God that he could think of that his brother was not waiting for him outside, his face liable to have incited murder. Heading for home he wasn't sure that it still might not.

---

Dean stopped as he opened the door and took in the mess of his younger brother's face. "See reasoning worked well then?" He threw his keys down on the table and shrugged his jacket off, throwing it on the chair before he slumped down on the couch and switched on the TV.

"That's it? No threats of violence or a touching scene of brotherly concern?" Sam couldn't help the sarcasm in his voice. Something was off here and he couldn't fathom what. Dean turned his head lazily towards him, only the little twitch in his cheek letting Sam know that he was angry, just not at what.

"You told me that you didn't want my help, so I'm not helping. Can't have it both ways Sammy, besides even you should know by now how to treat a black eye…I mean I gave you enough of them in training didn't I?" He smirked and then turned his attention back to the TV, turning up the volume and ending the conversation.

Sam didn't know whether he was annoyed or relieved. He quietly closed his books. "I'm gonna studying in the bedroom for a bit."

Dean just raised a hand in acknowledgement only turning to stare at the door as Sam shut it, the cold anger inside him finally being allowed to leech onto his face once it had.

---

It was ten o'clock when Sam felt the touch of his brother's hand on his arm. He sat up, rubbing at his eyes. "Crap I fell asleep. Whatsup?"

"I need to go out for a bit. You gonna be alright on your own?" Dean was a bundle of nervous energy, almost vibrating as he stood at the side of the bed.

"Where you going?" Sam yawned and sat up, stretching slightly to ease the stiffness in his muscles.

Dean grinned at him. "There's this waitress at the diner……"

Sam held up his hand. "Don't need to know. Will you be long?"

"It won't be all night, just a couple of hours. I think."

"It's fine Dean. I'm thirteen, I'm not a baby. Just go….," Sam returned his brother's grin. "Enjoy yourself."

"Thanks." There was that dangerous glint in his brother's eyes again. "I intend to."

Sam listened for the door closing before shrugging out his jeans and just pulling the covers back over himself. He was asleep almost as soon as his head touched the pillow.

---

Troy woke to the curtains in his room blowing in the stiff breeze that had sprang up during the night.

"Damn window catch," he muttered to himself and he hauled himself out of bed and slid the top pane back up and into place, locking the catch and checking it before he turned and climbed back into bed. Sleep had almost taken him when he felt the dip of the bed and the touch of the cold steel at his neck.

"What the…." Fear ran through him at the sound of the voice close to his ear.

"You make one noise and you'll bleed out before they even get to the door. We clear?" Dean eyes' glittered menacingly in the low light of the night light. "Little big for one these ain'tcha? Do all your big, tough friends know that you're scared of the dark?"

Troy's eyes darkened with anger. "I know who you are!" He spat the words out. "You're that loser Winchester's brother."

The little nerve ticked in Dean's face at the slight on Sam and he leaned in closer. "Good, that means you know why I'm here." He pressed the knife into the soft skin of the younger boy's neck, hard enough to mark but not break the skin, smiling coldly as the boy let out a little whimper of fear. "I'm only going to ask nicely this one time. I'm warning you, you leave my brother alone."

Regaining himself Troy returned Dean's cold smile but it faltered as the blade caressed his neck again. "You're gonna be in so much shit for pulling this stunt, my dad'll call the police and get you arrested, you and that stupid brother of yours!"

"I'm quaking with fear, really I am. Now, back to the point. You gonna take a telling and do as you're asked?" Dean raised a quizzical eyebrow as he waited for an answer.

"And what if I don't?" Troy's sneer was wiped when Dean's hand slid under the covers, finding it's target and squeezing.

"Then you're stupidier than you look." Dean raised the knife and leant in, running the blade down the boy's cheek his smile turning vicious. "If you don't, my brother and I will get into our car and disappear and then one night when you're all tucked up in bed and dreaming….I'm going arrive like your worst nightmare come to life and you're gonna wake up screaming….," Dean pulled back the covers and slid the knife down next to his other hand causing Troy to let out an undignified squeak, "…..and as a girl. Do I make myself clear?" He tightened his grip for effect. "A nod will be fine."

He patted Troy's cheek as the boy nodded, tears in his eyes from the pressure of Dean's hand on his privates.

"Good boy." Freeing his grasp he lifted the covers and wiped his now wet hand on Troy's t-shirt. "Should see a doctor about that little control problem that you've got there. Good luck explaining that one to mommy dearest." He turned to go and then stopped. "Oh, one more thing. I'll let the boot mark slid but the black eye….well…." Dean slipped his ring off and pulled back his fist, pulling the punch but still hitting the guy hard enough to know that the wet bed wasn't the only thing that Troy would have to try and explain away in the morning. "Door handles are a bitch when you fall into them aren't they?"

Troy nodded again.

"Sweet dreams."

With that he was gone.

---

Sam came spinning into the diner like a tornado. "What did you do?"

Dean raised his head from the magazine that he was reading and stared at his brother blankly. "What?"

"Don't you what me….Troy has a black eye and he hasn't came near me all day. So I'll ask again….what did you do?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about." Dean deadpanned him before dropping his eye back to the story he'd been reading.

"Last night, there wasn't any waitress, was there? You did that to him," Sam huffed at his brother.

Dean's look was confused innocence. "So your buddy, who picks on people, has a black eye and instantly it's me? I was with Janine all night last night and if you don't believe me….ask her yourself." He gestured in the direction of a tall skinny blonde behind the counter.

"Fine. I will." Turning on his heel Sam stomped over to the counter. "Janine?" The woman looked round and smile at him.

"That's me sugar, what can I do for you?"

"Did you spend the night with my brother last night? He says you did but I don't believe him." Sam crossed his arms and watched as she lent over the counter to him, his head height so on the wrong level for the action. He blushed and looked up at her face.

"I sure did sugar and he was quite something." She smiled over at Dean who waved back. "In fact, you tell him, anytime he's up for another round….well he knows where I'll be."

Sam spun back round to face the grinning face of his brother.

Dean raised his hands. "See I told you."

"Shut up and let's go or I'm telling her you're only seventeen, 'cos she's at least forty."

They left the diner and walked over to the car, Dean giving Janine a mouthed 'thank you' as he passed.

"She's only thirty five." Dean answered as he opened the door to the car.

"And how old were you this time?" Sam slid into shotgun and slammed his door.

"Twenty five." Starting the car up Dean looked over his shoulder to back the car up and out the space.

Catching his eye Sam laughed. "And she believed you?"

Dean grinned as he completed the manoeuvre and indicated to pull out into the traffic. "They always do, cause they want me so bad."

He touched his crotch and Sam made vomiting noises. "Dream on Casanova!"

They sat quietly for a bit and then Sam turned to his brother. "You can tell me you know. I promise I wont be mad. You did your little midnight caller again, didn't you?"

Dean didn't look away from the road.

"Dean?"

"Ok, I may have had a word with him." He still kept his eyes on the road.

"I asked you not to," Sam huffed a little.

"I know, but you're my brother Sammy, what am I supposed to do, just let him beat the crap out of you?"

It was a sigh that escaped him this time. "You're supposed to let me fight my own battles Dean."

"Can't do that." The car turned into the lot that the motel sat in and they pulled up into the space at the door.

"Why not?"

Dean smiled and it was genuine and warm. "It's in the big brother handbook Sam, rule number one; no one gets to beat on my little brother and get away with it. 'cept me of course." He cackled loudly at that.

"Big brother handbook eh?"

Dean nodded, face serious now even as the smile played as his lips. "Yeah! You know all the rules like I get shotgun if dad's here; I get to pick the music; I get the bed nearest the door; I get the first and last piece of pie; I get all the hot chicks….."

"What do I get?" Sam unlocked the room door and stepped inside, dropping his bag and switching on the lights.

Dean stood blinded for a moment before his face broke out into the biggest, cheesiest smile ever. "You get to have the most awesome big brother ever."

Sam turned to say something but stopped.

Despite all Dean's faults even he couldn't argue with that.

Chapter End Notes:

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